Silver trade dollar

France, AD 1921

For use in international trade

As she developed her economic and political interests in Indo-China in the nineteenth century, France needed a currency in which to trade. At this time the silver dollar was the most suitable coin for international trade, as it was accepted as currency in many areas of the world. Accordingly in 1885 France began to mint silver equivalents called piastres de commerce, for her South-east Asian colonies. Francs continued to be produced for domestic use.

On one side of the coin is a personification of the French Republic by the Paris mint engraver Jean Auguste Barre. The other side gives the denomination and weight of the coin. The design is wholly western, with no concessions made to Asian tradition. Many of the coins were struck in Paris, but others, including this example, were produced in Birmingham, England.

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More information


J. Cribb, B. Cook and I. Carradice, The coin atlas (London and Sydney, Macdonald Illustrated, 1990)


Diameter: 39.000 mm
Weight: 26.990 g

Museum number

CM 1923-12-6-1


Gift of the Birmingham Mint


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